Dog Bite Law Suits
Law suits involving aggressive dogs in State of Washington generally favor the victims, meaning dog owners in the state must take great care of their canine friends if they don’t want to end on the wrong side of the law. According to the law, the owner of a dog that bites either an animal or a human being is strictly held liable for the bite. This means landlords are not held liable for dog bites in their premises unless they are the owners of the dogs.
The laws relating to dog bites are in Chapter 16.08 RCW, which is divided into ten sections, including:
- A dog keeper or owner is liable to the owner of an animal injured or killed by a dog or dogs for the costs of collection and amount of damages.
- It is lawful for all people who see dogs chasing or biting their domestic animals to kills the dogs.
- It is the responsibility of the owner of a marauding dog to kill it within 48 hours of being notified of the fact. Any dog owner who does not comply with the rule is deemed guilty of a misdemeanor.
- The owner of a dog that bites a person who is either on a public place or private place legally is held liable for the damages suffered even if the dog had not been vicious before and regardless of the owner’s knowledge of the dog’s viciousness. The only exception involves lawful application of police dogs.
- The law also protects someone who lawfully gets into the private property of a dog owner with either implied or express consent of the owner. However, the consent is not presumed when the said property is reasonably posted or fenced.
Importance of an Attorney
In spite of these provisions, law suits involving aggressive dogs in State of Washington require the services of a skilled and experienced injury attorney. Such a lawyer will help the victims get a better understanding of their respective cases and what they are entitled to. The attorney will also help the victims understand related terms.
For example, an attorney will help in determining whether the dog owner knew or at least should have known the dog was likely to bite based on a number of factors, including the dog’s breed, its training and what it had done in the past. The advanced knowledge is known as “scienter.” In addition to a dog’s owner, other people who can be liable for the scienter include the dog’s harborer and keeper.
In law suits involving aggressive dogs in State of Washington, anyone who unreasonably fails to control a dog on the day it bites is held liable for negligence. If you have been bitten by an aggressive dog in the State of Washington you should contact a lawyer for assistance as soon as possible. A lawyer will review your case and can help you get the compensation that you deserve for your injury.